While being distracted by the media with Miley Cyrus’ twerking, the use of chemical weapons in Syria and whether or not America will go to war, most Americans have no idea that a Japanese nuclear reactor is still pouring out hundreds of tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.
In March 2011, a horrendous 9.0 magnitude earthquake revealed it’s powerful presence on the east coast of Japan and created a multitude of tsunami waves that ruthlessly destroyed the island of Japan and took around 20,000 lives. The earthquake that has been recorded as one of the worst earthquakes in history was also responsible for another disaster in Japan.
The Fukushima region in Japan was greatly known for nuclear power plants. Four power plants with eleven reactors, Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (Tepco) Fukushima Daiichi 1, 2, 3, Fukushima Daini 1, 2, 3, 4, Tohoku’s Onagawa 1, 2, 3, and Japco’s Tokai, immediately shut down when warnings of the earthquake surfaced. However, shortly after the earthquake, Fukushima Daiichi and Daini’s cooling systems failed. Disaster continued the next day with an explosion at reactor 1. Partial meltdowns were detected at reactors 1 and 3. Not much later, reactor 3 at Fukushima Daiichi exploded into flames. A third and final explosion ensued inside reactor number 2 which caused reactor 4, which was not functioning at the time, to catch on fire. After constant efforts by crews on site, workers were given the order to withdraw and hundreds of people were asked to evacuate because of the high radiation levels.
According to “The Telegraph” from the UK, the Fukushima region has acquired the label as one of the worst nuclear disasters in modern history. A month later the Fukushima disaster was analyzed and raised to a level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the worst possible rating that puts it at the same level as the Chernobyl incident.
Two years later, the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster is back on the radar. It has been reported that the government is to take over the situation after Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has failed to control the radioactive water leakage. TEPCO soon admitted that around 300 tons of contaminated water has been leaking into the ocean since the day of the initial disaster in March 2011. Commenting on this international disaster, managing director and chief economist at the Institute of Energy Economics in Tokyo, Tsutomu Toichi stated, “It’s clear that TEPCO is unable to solve the problems on its own. The government has to step in to ensure these problems are solved quickly. It is going to have to provide funds, as well as a plan for moving forward, and explain this to the public in a way that is easy to understand.” TEPCO was very hesitant in accepting help from other countries, but the condition of the situation has pushed them to accept help from countries, such as Russia, that are willing to help clean up and contain the madness.
Many of the solutions that have been proposed such as, “freezing or digging up the soil surrounding the site, seem to be terribly expensive or impossible” added Joachim Knebel, a nuclear expert and chief science officer at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. While an immediate stop to the leaking can be accomplished, the long-term affect may not be so easy to be fixed. Radioactive polluted water can reside for countless years posing a threat to ocean life and those who like to eat seafood. However, recent plans to increase the efforts of the decontamination process have been announced.